That's so sad that someone lost their life. Hopefully they didn't have to suffer and it was instant.
The reality is that people feel like they are invincible. If you look at some of the videos you'll see how fast people were traveling in that ridiculous storm, then when they had to do an evasive maneuver, they had no idea how to handle it. Plus, i'm sure most don't have snow tires, chains, and so on...
Apparently it was a complete white out in that area of 94 near Kalamazoo. The freeway is mostly open right there and yes, people typically are traveling quite fast. Sounds like a large number of semis are also to partially blame because they couldn't stop. There are a couple clips from cell phone footage that is pretty eerie where people are on the side of the road, wanting to help but cannot get close enough.
I would assume that there weren't very many people with snow tires and definitely no chains, not necessary and I don't think allowed in Michigan, or at least in this area.
There was another 50 or so car pile up on US23 near Milan, pretty much the same scenario.
Total was about 150 vehicles involved. Many people don't even know snow tires exist, so there are only a few that have them. Also many people have tires with very low tread and bald tires. The majority of the general population doesn't really think about tires unless pointed out by someone or at a shop. Many people also think that if they have 4x4 or AWD it doesn't matter what their tires look like. It's amazing that only one driver was killed.